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question for all the wise Subaru peeps out there.

yesterday, I started to hear a clicking noise coming from the engine. it only occurs on a cold start and does go away after Ive been driving for a bit. the noise clicks every second or so and gets faster when i push down on the gas pedal.

this started to happen after yesterday when I turned the car off immediately after driving for about an hour. didn't have time to idle for 2 minutes like I usually do when I drive for some time. had the car checked out by a local shop and they said its coming from the timing belt. I'm in an 03 wrx, wit approx 76,000 miles. I'm having MY mechanic look at the car in a couple days but in the meanwhile wanted to get your guys' opinions.

am I trippin? is it nothing serious? has anybody heard this click of death? I've read that the timing belt does need to be changed around 100K. I would just rather solve the issue sooner than later.

help me if u can, thanks everyone
 

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It sounds exactly like what you're hearing.

I'd bet you $100 that's what you're describing. It's not anything to worry about unless it starts to get a lot worse, which it probably won't.
 

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The bugeye cars had a faulty timing belt tensioner that would clack loudly on cold starts. It will be interesting to hear what your mechanic says. If its the tensioner do not hesitate to do a timing belt full job at that age.
 

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The bugeye cars had a faulty timing belt tensioner that would clack loudly on cold starts. It will be interesting to hear what your mechanic says. If its the tensioner do not hesitate to do a timing belt full job at that age.
hmmm that does not sound like such great news at all. well its times like these I'm glad i keep spare $$ for a rainy day. how much time do you think I have before it gets worse? I mean I'm not gonna get lazy all of a sudden and I am definitely going to take care of this sooner than later after my mechanic gives me the final diagnosis (he has never let me down).

also, would the full timing belt job actually fix the problem? or is it the actual valve? or both? never dealt with this kind of problem before so please enlighten me
 

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I am not talking valves at all. The tensioner cracks. It is a roller with a hydraulic pivot that presses itself wide so that the timing belt stays at the correct tension. It is changed during a conscientious timing belt service anyway, along with all other rollers and the water pump etc as preventative maintenance.

I don't know how much time you have but you don't know whether I am
right. Your mechanic will though, so ask there ASAP for peace of mind.

Piston slap is a clanking sound on cold start that goes away when warm and it is generally harmless. I mention it as another possibility.

Your car may have passed the time (not miles, time) lit for timing belt device, incidentally. If so don't feel as bad if it's the tensioner failing after all.

Ask your mechanic.
 

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I meant to say "clacks" not "cracks" above.
 

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Hi. So my 03 wrx is making exactly the same noise. I have 102k and the timing belt was done at 60k only the belt was replaced. Same thing, once a second at idle, and increases frequency with more rpms. Passenger side. It sounds like it could be coming from that head or the timing belt I guess, but I dont think the source of the noise is in the area of the timing belt tensioner. OP, did you ever find a resolution? Or could anyone help me to further diagnose my issue?
Thanks all.
 
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